The One True King
Easter: The Triumphant King
One of the most powerful groups in all of Jerusalem was a family connected to the Temple in Israel. And from 18 to 36 AD, one man sat at the pinnacle of this powerful dynasty; Caiaphas, the High Priest. History tells us that his father-in-law had occupied this position before him, as well as five other family members. But no one held this coveted spot as long as Caiaphas. Being the High Priest brought immense wealth, power, connections, and privilege. But little did Caiaphas know that he would trip off an unstoppable cascade of events forever changing the world on one early spring night. For Caiaphas condemned Jesus to be executed.
The clashing of these two individuals points to two worldviews. Here we see some desperately cling to worldly power, worshipping at the altar of prestige and comfort. Others see a hidden but not so hidden power in surrendering to Jesus. Today, we will examine these two options. As we do, we must consider the cost of our choice. And I prayerfully ask that you will choose to follow Jesus.
Today, you can travel to Jerusalem to behold the actual Ossuary (an ancient bone box) that is full of Caiaphas’ bones. You, also, can go to that same city and see the tomb of Jesus; and of course, it is empty.
1. Jesus was on a head-on collision with the Jewish elites.
– Jesus was super critical of their abuse of power (Matthew 23:33)
– The temple leaders had connections with Rome, but Jesus had the crowds
– Jesus’ fame and momentum was threating. (John 11:45-50)
Consider: Why not follow Jesus? Is it an intellectually inconsistent reason? Or a personally inconvenient reason?
2. Jesus faced execution by Caiaphas (Mark 14:61-64 / John 19:7-11)
Why should you follow Jesus? Because he has true power that changes the world.
3. Jesus calls us to believe and follow him (Acts 4:5-19, 31)
This power changed the world. This power changes you. This power changes you as you change the world.
You don’t need to have it all figured out. You need to take the first step.
TALK IT OUT:
- Pastor Rusty shares about one of the most powerful men in ancient Jerusalem, Caiaphas, the High Priest. That position brought him immense wealth, power, connections, and privilege. Why do many tend to live for the same things Caiaphas enjoyed during his life?
- Jesus and Caiaphas represent two vastly different worldviews. The high priest appears to have lived for the prestige and comfort of his exalted position. In contrast, Jesus lived with a higher spiritual purpose than merely His own position and comfort. The clash of these two men’s value systems came to a head when Caiaphas condemned Jesus to death. In Jerusalem today, you can visit the ossuary (burial box) of Caiaphas with his bones still inside it. You can also visit the tomb of Jesus… which is, of course, empty. How do the burials of these two men serve as a stark contrast between two very opposite ways to live?
- Jesus was extremely critical of Caiaphas and the Jewish religious leaders, as evidenced by what He once said to them, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33, NIV) Why was Jesus so critical of those charged with the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people?
- Pastor Rusty asks, “Why not follow Jesus? Is it an intellectually inconsistent reason? Or is it a personally inconvenient reason?” If you aren’t currently following Jesus, what keeps you from committing yourself to Him? Do you have intellectual questions you need to be answered, or are you not following Jesus because it would be inconvenient for you?
- Jesus faced execution by Caiaphas according to Mark 14:61-64. However, though the High Priest condemned Jesus, He ushered in the kingdom of God, and His followers were never the same. Caiaphas lived comfortably but ended up as a “box of bones” while Jesus changed the world. How do you need Jesus to change you?
LIVE IT OUT
- Pastor Rusty says you don’t have to have Jesus all figured out to follow Him. Make a list of your questions about Jesus, which you need to have answered before you commit to following Him?
- Call or email Concord Church with your questions or share your commitment to follow Jesus. Contact us: concordchurch.com/contact/
- Pastor Rusty encourages us to take the “first step” in our spiritual journey. If your questions have been answered prayerfully, ask God to forgive your sins and commit to personally following Him.